Everyone knows that a massage will help with muscular tension or soreness and recovery from workouts, but who has the ability to get a massage several times a week?
It's handy to have tools at your disposal to perform your own 'self message' on areas that tend to get sore or tight. Here are a few of my favorites:
Foam rollers (they come in log-shaped rollers as well as foam balls) are useful to cover large areas at once in a quick and dirty approach. They are great for IT band, back, lats, and glutes. You simply place the roller under areas of your body that are tight and roll back and forth. A quick youtube search will bring up videos if you want specific guidance. Foam rollers can be purchased at most department stores, or online:
These inexpensive items can be used to target smaller areas like knots in the calfs, the feet, the forearms, and to get deeper into the hips and glutes. Roll your body over the ball until you find a sore spot, then leave it. You should find the spot relaxes a bit. You can put two tennis balls in a sock to cover more area at once.
The theracane is a tool useful for targeting spots that are hard to reach on the back or to more easily target muscles of the legs. It's the next best thing to having a real massage.
The tiger tail is similar to a foam roller but because you can hold it in your hands you can target the tissues better. It's also small enough to be portable for times when you are working out away from home.
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